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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story short I believe I either have mild depression or bipolar disorder. It runs in the family and I've been around it long enough to know what it looks like. I think I've been in denial for a loooooooooooong time. Like I said it is mild but I would like to try to treat it without drugs. I am currently nursing and will be nursing and/or pregnant for the next several years so I need something that is compatible with that. Any thoughts on the best way to go about this? I am trying to make an effort to get some excercize and sunlight and fresh air everyday. I'm sure that eating better and drinking enough water would help too but that is where I tend to falter when I get depressed so I think anything I can do aside from diet and excercize would help a lot. Thanks so much!
 

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Hi Vicki.

This is diet, but I'll mention it anyway. How's your omega 3 intake? There's so much linking depression and bipolar disorder to low omega 3s. There's a book out by a Harvard professor I believe called "Omega 3 Connection" which relates essential fatty acids to depression. He recommends something like 4 grams of EFAs a day which is a lot and you are likely not getting that amount. Check out the book. It's pretty compelling.

And then there is the B vitamin link. I am still struggling with a B12 deficiency. Actually, I eat liver to help
and I feel a lot better eating it, but I am still low. Pregnancy and BFing take so much out of you.

There are other tools as well but for on-going body maintenance to ward off depression, these two things are critical.

Amanda
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks so much Amanda! I probably am deficient in both of those things. I'm a vegetarian and when I get depressed my eating is the first thing that goes bad. Do taking supplements help? I'll look up those things now and see what I find. Thanks so much!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alybeans
Thanks so much Amanda! I probably am deficient in both of those things. I'm a vegetarian and when I get depressed my eating is the first thing that goes bad. Do taking supplements help? I'll look up those things now and see what I find. Thanks so much!
I am taking supplements since I am not sure how else I would get out of the hole that I am in. I take cod liver oil but vegetarians usually take flaxseed oil and evening primrose oil (I don't think the EPO is safe while pregnant but I can't remember for sure). The cod liver oil is really the best, but it is not vegetarian.

On the Bs I took a B12 supplement diligently while a vegetarian and I am still super low. Someone recently directed me to liquid Bs which are more digestible. I wonder if those would have been better all along. There are the B12 and B6 shots as well which I would consider in a desperate state, but I am a little leary of vitamin shots. But it's got to be better than pernicious anemia from lack of B12.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much Amanda! I actually don't have a problem taking Cod Liver Oil. I'm not morally opposed to eating meat, I just think its gross
But I can swallow a pill with fish in it - NO Problem
I actually read somewhere that Flax has estrogen like properties and can mess with your milk supply so I'd rather stay away from it just to be on the safe side.

I am currently taking prenatal vitamins that have 100% of both B6 and B12, is that not enough? Just wondering. Thanks so so much!

I can't wait to get to the Natural Food Store tomorrow to get some supplements.
 

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I am not a doctor and am not giving medical advice.

Follow the "Body Blues" program to increase natural seratonin production. www.thebodyblues.com I got the book from the library, it is called When Your Body Gets the Blues. It is very simple. You're already getting natural light and exercise, so you're most of the way there! You can buy the supplements separately or they sell a formula that has all them in one pill.

Learn some basic relaxation yoga or at least some simple stretches. Stress control is important.

Start a progesterone/estrogen cream. I am currently using Progesta-Care Plus. Our homones plummet after birth. I have learned that I am very sensitive to hormone fluctuations. (Since you are nursing you should run this past your midwife. Is your supply well-established? Personally, I don't think it should be a big problem, as many mothers nurse through pregnancy and their hormone levels are significantly higher than anyone would have using the cream. You can also buy progesterone only cream. The mini pill is progesterone only and is prescribed to nursing mothers. This would be a much lower dose.)

Take prescription iron if you are prone to anemia; I get very depressed when I have low iron (under 11), even if I am not clinically anemic. I do not get enough iron in my diet and/or I do not absorb it well. I like Chromagen Forte the best. If you cannot get a prescription and have a history of low iron then I would buy an OTC iron pill like Slow FE.

Take a good EFA for women, such as Barlean's Essential Woman (I found it at my HFS). This will also promote hormonal balance.

Journal, preferably daily.

Take long hot baths with essential oils; I use a mixture of geranium, lavender, and bergamot, which is good for depression. I used to carefully measure and premix it, now I just put in severeal drop from each bottle as the water runs.

Go to group therapy if there is one available. If not, I would establish a relationship with a therapist and go at least monthly, more often if symptoms worsen. If I could not afford this or did not have insurance I would look into free counseling from a local university.

Make sure you have good friends to get together with regularly. My "PPD" lasted from the birth of my first son to when my second was almost 5 (obviously it was far more severe in the first year after birth, but I never seemed to be able to shake it). Having a regular weekly rhythm, meeting like-minded people, and getting together regularly has been a big part of my finally becoming depression free.

Eat a whole foods diet. DH might have to cook, so I would make sure he knew the basics like how to use the pressure cooker, crock pot, and rice maker. I would not hesitate to buy "convenience" foods like canned beans, pre-cut salad greens, frozen brown rice, sliced veggies (from Trader Joes), etc.

Hire a housecleaner if you can afford it. Basically, do what you can to lighten your load.

Have an open mind about using medications. If I was doing all of the above and still needed help I would not hesitate to use it.

Good luck!

Kimberly
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alybeans
Thanks so much Amanda! I actually don't have a problem taking Cod Liver Oil.
The best CLO I've tried is by Nordic Naturals. It's not cheap, but looking at it dose per dose it's a good buy. I bought some here last week (best price I found at the time):

Nordic Naturals

I had been taking Twin Labs, but it turns out that tablespoon for tablespoon, Nordic Naturals has something like 7 times the DHA as Twin Labs. It also has less Vitamin D which is good because you can get too much Vitamin D. It took me years to realize that a tablespoon of this stuff is not all equal. I was getting less EFAs than I thought for some time.

Quote:
I am currently taking prenatal vitamins that have 100% of both B6 and B12, is that not enough? Just wondering. Thanks so so much!
My hunch is no, it's not enough. I took supplements pretty religiously and I am still pretty low. I also noticed that B12 usually comes in supplements at well over the RDA because it is more difficult to absorb. I would definitely look for a liquid B. The site I gave above has one as well that I ordered with the CLO. And B vitamins are water soluable. You won't become toxic in them. Worst case is that you pee some out. I would take smaller doses of B throughout the day for that reason too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks so much ladies! I went to the Natural Foods Store today and bought an Omega 3 supplement called Omega Mom that is supposed to be specifically formulated for post-pardom and nursing Mom's. They guy working there seemed pretty knowledgable and said these were a good quality supplement. Does anyone have any feedback on Omega Mom? I may go back today and buy some Vit. B and Chromium Picolinate as well. I've been reading a lot here and I've also seen that people mention Magnesium so I may look into that as well.

Lasty does anyone know how long these types of things take to see results? Weeks? Months? I'm not expecting overnight results I just want to make sure I don't give up too easily. Thanks so much you ladies are so helpful!
 

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KimberMama, Thanks so much for your suggestions.

The part where you said that you had PPD from your first until your 2nd was 5, really hit home. (I don't mean to steal this thread) I just have never felt like I have "recovered" from the birth of my 2nd, but I thought that PPD should have gone away by now - since she is 2 1/2 now. I will look up the link you gave. I really don't want to do meds, if I can help it.
 

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Janette -- I agree with you on Kimberly's post. I went and took a hot apple cider vinegar bath after reading. It really is a whole approach that is necessary.
 
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